New Software Will Enhance Materials Science and Engineering’s Undergraduate Program

The University of Maryland’s (UMD) A. James Clark School of Engineering is one of six schools nationwide that will receive advanced materials modeling software for use in its undergraduate curriculum. ASM International’s Computational Materials Data Network awarded the suite of computational tools from Thermo-Calc Software through its 2015 Materials Genome Toolkit program.

Launched in 2011, the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) supports materials research and development at U.S. institutions in an effort to promote materials discoveries that contribute to national economic growth, security, energy and health. MGI stresses the use of techniques that speed up the processes and reduce costs, including combinatorial and computational materials science, both areas in which MSE is known for its expertise. The Materials Genome Toolkit includes thermodynamic and DICTRA diffusion codes, a TC-PRISMA precipitation simulator, software development kits, and thermodynamic and mobility databases for iron, nickel, aluminum, and other systems.

The software will be integrated into at least half a dozen undergraduate MSE courses, culminating in the students’ senior Capstone Design project and participation in ASM International’s annual Undergraduate Student Design Competition, which a team of MSE students won in 2013.

MSE professors Isabel Lloyd, Luz Martinez-Miranda, Yifei Mo, Ray Phaneuf, Ichiro Takeuchi, and Manfred Wuttig will use the software in lectures and assignments covering modeling, experimental methods, applications, smart materials, electronic and optical materials, kinetics, diffusion and phase transformations. Mo, who designed the department’s new course in computational materials design, will advise and coordinate the faculty team, while Phaneuf will advise the Capstone students’ participation in the competition.

“Our department values the importance of computational skills and tools in the education of our undergraduate students,” said MSE professor and chair Robert M. Briber. “Access to the Materials Genome Toolkit will greatly strengthen our current efforts to implement computational components in our undergraduate curriculum.”

The toolkit will enable students to gain the skills they need to shape the future of materials science and discovery, Professor Gregory B. Olson (Northwestern University) the ASM Computational Materials Engineering Committee chair, stated in ASM’s announcement of the awards. “The winning schools will be able to turn out strong graduates in important areas for growth and have a competitive edge over other schools with similar programs.”

The University of Maryland and the other five winning schools will be honored at the 2015 Materials Science & Technology meeting, to be held October 4-8 in Columbus, Ohio.

The Materials Genome Toolkit award was made possible by Northwestern University’s NIST-funded Center for Hierarchical Materials Design (CHiMaD).

For More Information:

Read ASM’s announcement of the Materials Genome Toolkit Awards »

Published June 9, 2015